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Boots charging for medication deliveries

(51 Posts)
MrBlueSkype Fri 02-Aug-19 21:03:14

A bit outing, but I manage domiciliary services. Today I've been told that Boots will be charging all their customers £5 PER DELIVERY for medication deliveries. They can sign-up online and have it delivered for free from a central pharmacy, but local pharmacies in-store will have to charge.

The poor, poor vulnerable are yet again going to be shafted here. Older, vulnerable, learning disabilities, all kinds of people who have no family, or are off the radar, can they just make the switch? No they won't, some will ignore the letter to come and do without meds.

Slow claps Boots

(local pharmacies are still delivering for free and will continue to do so in my area).

AIBU to be mad about this?

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Kummerspeck Fri 02-Aug-19 21:10:18

Unfortunately part of the reason for this is people taking advantage. Deliveries were originally intended for those who were unable to get out to collect but it is amazing how many houses delivery drivers get to and find the person who needs to sign for medication has gone out.
I think a lot is changing in the world of pharmacy; some companies are also planning to charge for weekly dosettes/trays and CCGs are stopping pharmacies from ordering prescriptions so patients will have to order for themselves too

MrBlueSkype Fri 02-Aug-19 21:12:25

They told me they got a government grant for the drivers, now that is being finished, that is why it's being stopped.

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MrBlueSkype Fri 02-Aug-19 21:13:37

Ah, I really hope they don't charge for dosettes, that would be a disaster for so many!

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Chlobo89 Fri 02-Aug-19 21:16:00

Yes sadly it’s due to people taking advantage and also having 3 or 4 deliveries in one week instead of ordering all of the items they need in one go.
There will be exceptions such as people who need end of life medication and people that need emergency deliveries. There is also an annual pass that can be purchased for £55.
It is far from ideal but a lot of changes are happening in pharmacy at the moment and i expect other pharmacies will soon be doing the same.

Teddybear45 Fri 02-Aug-19 21:17:38

Local pharmacies do choose who they deliver to - in some areas you often need a GP / consultant letter or some kind of confirmation of a care plan before they even consider it for free prescriptions. While private ones often need to hit a minimum spend of £20-30.

Sceptre86 Fri 02-Aug-19 21:18:43

Many pharmacy chains will be doing this as it just isn't cost effective. Many patients abuse the service and it was only ever intended for house bound patients. Previously there was reimbursement for this service however now there is not. Pharmacy chains have to recoup costs to keep your local pharmacy open, with the introduction of online pharmacies there is a lot of pressure to close stores not making a profit. If you have issues with pharmacies cutting back services write to the general pharmaceutical council and complain. Yanbu to be annoyed at the charge but yabu to direct your annoyance at Boots, focus on the government who are taking so much money out of pharmacy rather than investing.

CensorshipHereIsAJoke Fri 02-Aug-19 21:19:24

What are dossettes?

Chlobo89 Fri 02-Aug-19 21:21:04

Also patients will not just be left without medication, all delivery patients get a phone call before each delivery and have been given 3 months notice of the charge and all options are being discussed with them to come to the best arrangement, nobody would just be left without medication because they havnt paid it’s mainly to discourage the perfectly able bodied people that demand to have their medication delivered because they feel they are somehow entitled to it.

slipperywhensparticus Fri 02-Aug-19 21:22:28

Our chemist is so slow most people opt for drop it off later they take AGES to fill a prescription its insane my youngest was lay with a bowl by him to be sick in and they were in the back chatting away it would have been quicker for me to drive to tesco to get it filled half the staff half the time

MillicentMartha Fri 02-Aug-19 21:32:49

Dosettes are dosing boxes that put each day’s tablets into individual boxes for morning, evening etc. Essential for those with dementia or just age related confusion etc to ensure they take their often multiple medications correctly when they live alone.

Gingerkittykat Fri 02-Aug-19 21:36:39

A dossette is a box which is filled with weekly medicine, divided into days of the week and time of day.

I get one as I have a fairly complex med regime and pay £2 a week for the pharmacy to fill it, which I'm happy to pay.

For those who say people have been abusing the system, Boots and other pharmacies have been advertising this service for ages for everyone and not for vulnerable groups. I assume it was profitable for them to do so, I hope that the vulnerable don't miss out here.

longtimelurkerhelen Fri 02-Aug-19 21:45:47

If it was only intended for the housebound, that should have been made clear. I have received a few letters from pharmacies trying to get me to sign up, no mention of any demographic that it was aimed at.

It's just like the banks, getting everyone to use their ATM's, they are all free, once everyone got their wages paid into the bank and not in an cash envelope, they start charging.

If they were getting paid by the government to do it, I suspect they were trying to maximise profits, getting everyone to sign up.

MrBlueSkype Fri 02-Aug-19 21:58:32

Yanbu to be annoyed at the charge but yabu to direct your annoyance at Boots, focus on the government who are taking so much money out of pharmacy rather than investing

I get it that they are withdrawing the service due to cuts in them funding this service, I really do, but as it is for my area right now, local pharmacies are still delivering for free and have said they will for the foreseeable.

Chlobo I spoke to Boots head office today, they told me that letters had not been sent out yet and they didn't know when they were going out to existing customers. I spoke to 2 advisors? Can you advise me better as I need to speak to a lot of people over the next couple of weeks about this as it is going to MASSIVELY affect my service. A plea for more info, not a sarky comment. Also, not one of my service users that use Boots are aware of this, if you work for Boots, there are fundamental failures in their communication if you say they knew 3 months ago, not one of mine did.

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Glasgowgin Fri 02-Aug-19 22:04:12

Locally (Scotland) we’ve been told they’re charging new patients to the service but not existing patients (yet)

Justneedaflippingtemporaryname Fri 02-Aug-19 22:09:43

It's a business, not a charity. It costs money to deliver things.

MrBlueSkype Fri 02-Aug-19 22:25:00

Justneedaflippingtemporaryname Can I ask, if all local pharmacies start to charge like Boots (they aren't yet), what are your suggestions to to housebound people on benefits that require weekly deliveries due to their health needs?

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MrBlueSkype Fri 02-Aug-19 22:27:47

Glasgowgin New patients are charged straight away, existing customers from 1st September sadly.

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Chlobo89 Fri 02-Aug-19 22:32:10

Existing customers wont start being charged until late september at the earliest and they have started to be informed from the beginning of July through phonecalls as and when their deliveries are going out for example they have a prescription ready to go out so they get a phone call to arrange delivery and are notified of the charge starting in september, lots have been happy to pay, some have said they will start coming to collect and some the pharmacist can decide it isnt appropriate to charge at all.
I obviously cant speak for all areas i can only go by local knowledge, i hope that it will be handled sensitively everywhere as it isn’t a nice situation.
I havnt heard anything about letters being sent out as we only hold the information of our patients locally due to confidentiality so there isnt a database as such to generate letters and that isnt something that would happen in store which is why patients are being informed over the phone.

Samcro Fri 02-Aug-19 22:42:11

i have seen adverts on the tv, you can sign up to having your meds sorted and delivered....
our nearly local chemist delivers df's meds ( 2 monthly) no problem. i am not lazy but parking near there is impossible.

user1511042793 Fri 02-Aug-19 22:48:36

I work I have mine delivered for free. Don’t see why it’s just for housebound. They fit through letter box. Just one more convenience in life.

MrBlueSkype Fri 02-Aug-19 22:55:56

Chlobo Ah right, it seems that either you guys were on it straight away or our local branches just haven't let people know yet if it should have been rolled out at local level. I have definitely been told by 2 advisors that it is 1st September.

I'm just worried about about people who slip through services who may have been set up with deliveries, are elderly, have learning disabilities, carers in crisis and have deliveries from Boots. How do Boots deal with these people? Do they have a plan for people that don't respond to letters and phone calls?

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Samcro Fri 02-Aug-19 23:05:50

just don't use Boots.\there are lots of smaller chemists that are better

Justneedaflippingtemporaryname Sat 03-Aug-19 00:10:39

Justneedaflippingtemporaryname Can I ask, if all local pharmacies start to charge like Boots (they aren't yet), what are your suggestions to to housebound people on benefits that require weekly deliveries due to their health needs?

I'm not denying it's shit but nobody complains about Tesco charging to deliver food. I don't know where the money is meant to come from, but like I said it's a business...pharmacies dont get paid by the NHS to deliver. They have to employ a driver and buy and maintain a car and all the fuel etc etc etc. YABU to be fuming about it. Where should the money come from?

MrBlueSkype Sat 03-Aug-19 00:48:16

No, nobody has complained about Tesco deliveries, these are profitable to the company. However medication deliverys may be not, if they decline free delivery, should they be offered the prescription service? Local debate?

I have put this to my local councillor in charge of social care today.

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